Esquire’s hackable e-paper display

In celebration of there 75th year, Esquire magazine’s October issue will feature an e-paper cover. The display will be about 3mm thick flexible paper with four shades of gray and some animated text and images. The backside will also have a display featuring a Ford ad for the new Flex. The Ford ad is essentially subsidizing this whole production. The cover isn’t finalized yet, but Boing Boing Gadgets was able to get a few more details about it from deputy editor [Peter Griffin]. The battery isn’t anything exotic and they fully expect people to break the device open and do what they want with it. It will unfortunately still require you building your own controller, but at least you get two revolutionary displays to play with for the cost of a magazine. If you’re wondering what Esquire is, they apparently showed George Clooney 2 Girls 1 Cup. So they’ve got that to celebrate too.

29 thoughts on “Esquire’s hackable e-paper display

  1. i hope they def do this, im signing up for the 12 month sub just to make sure i can get it, btw to the guy above me contact me at nutz4hs (A) yahoo DOT com, maybe we can strike a deal, im in the usa.

  2. I know Esquire from their article covering Captain Crunch’s activities in the seventies ‘Secrets of the little blue box’ or something like that it was called.

  3. wow that is awesome i will be picking one up for sure, not quite sure what i’ll do do with it, but i’ll figure something out.

  4. I really doubt this is anything but a big version of one of those games where the “screen” is just different pictures that become illuminated, like the old table top nintendo games

  5. #2 How many of them could you get? :) There are thousands of hackers all over the world that would like to get one. I’m one of them.

  6. well, i live in phila so there are easily hundreds of places near me to buy them, ill sell that at exact cost+ shipping to wherever

  7. “The electronic cover will be used in only 100,000 copies that go to newsstands — its overall circulation is about 720,000″

    looks like #9 is correct with that.

  8. i was able to contact someone at esquire regarding availability and here is a direct quote.

    “The E-Ink issues will be available only at Borders, Barnes & Noble and select newsstands. Only 100,000 of them will exist—it is simply too expensive to create more of them. Thanks for your interest. “

  9. Thinking about this some more, it is unlikely to be a matrix display. They will probably just flash pre-cut segments.

    Ignoring the e-paper, the accompanying electronics to display a pixel based animation at an acceptable resolution (i.e. good enough to recognise the logos) wouldn’t run continuously for 90 days.

    Anyone know enough about e-paper (specifically e-Ink’s) to comment on whether re-laminating the e-ink layer onto your own matrix of electrodes might work?

    Still anyone willing to ship one to England please contact me at bware, iware, co, uk with more traditional punctuation.

  10. @ #13
    Damn. I just bought a year’s subscription for $7 from amazon. Not the worst waste of money ever but hopefully my B&N will get it and it won’t disappear before I can get my greasy mits on it.

  11. How do you figure? E-paper is supposed to use a very tiny amount of power. The electronics themselves don’t necessarily need a lot of power either. Unlike LCDs, I don’t think “pre-cut segments” would save a significant amount of power.

  12. That’s great until the battery runs out, then you’ll be like “I can’t read my magazine cuz print was too low-tech for them.”

    Also, you know what they’ll make next? “Please deposit 25 cents for an additional 15 minutes of reading.” Also, the articles will change to ads while you’re reading them.

  13. For those of you who jump to conclusions…

    E-paper doesn’t use Any power to display an image, only to CHANGE what’s being displayed. So once you make it display a picture/text/etc, it will continue to show it for a few gazillion years, powered or not, unless something powers it up and tells it to change the image. It also doesn’t have a backlight. All this means it takes only a teeny tiny trickle of power to run the animated cover on that magazine. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it lasted a few months on some coin cells.

    Anyone know if these will be sold in Canada?

  14. Would it be possible to just change the eeprom or what ever chip they use to store the pictures? Or maybe even somehow stream the picture or text from a sd card? :S

  15. I wonder how hard it would be to turn one of these into an ebook reader. surely someone here could design something better than the Kindle.

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